opinions, everybody's got one...
Thursday, December 12, 2002
law office temporarily closed
Due to an emergency, I will be out of state and the law office will be closed until 12/23/02. A skeleton staff will be on hand during limited hours to handle mail and messages. Business will resume with vigor upon my return to Delaware.
I'm not certain what this will mean to the world of online shopping, but Google has unveiled a new product search engine called Froogle (in beta). My credit cards will have to be locked up out of my reach before I even dare to search for computer hardware. Shopping has a whole new look. (Thanks, Peter)
10 most wanted pop-ups
The FBI will be serving pop-ups on a number of web sites. They won't be advertising. Instead, they will be showing pictures of people on the agency's "Ten Most Wanted" list. OK, they've got good intentions. But, I still don't like pop-ups.
loss of words
Sometimes, when the appropriate word just won't come to you, it's good to have a thesaurus to turn to. The java-based Visual Thesaurus is a lot of fun. I spent way too much time there tonight.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
the mail must go through
Herodutus' words from almost 2,500 years ago may sound familiar: ""Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." And, our postal service has a proud tradition of carrying the mail. Perhaps the most amazing tales of mail delivery come from the time of the pony express. Even those folks must have made mistakes sometimes, and misdelivered the mail.
When a letter carrier brings mail to the wrong address, who is responsible? Some serious problems could result from letters and packages going to the wrong places. What should you do when you receive mail that is addressed wrong? What about mail that is delivered to the wrong address? An article called What Happens When The Mail Is Misdelivered? takes a look at those problems, and what to do when you get mail that you weren't supposed to receive. They also link to the US Postal Service's page on the potential liability of the USPS for misdeliveries, and a military justice case, U.S. v. Fox, which looks at laws concerning mail ending up in the wrong hands.
Sometimes, though, misdelivered mail can result in a happy ending.
violins in Wilmington
Wilmington's David Bromberg (that has a nice ring to it) has been known as a musician's musician through out his career as a performer. The artist is the most visible part of Wilmington's efforts to revitalize the City. Out and About magazine has more on Delaware's newest, and only, Violin Store and Museum and its owner, David Bromberg.
For an encore, maybe the city would consider building and operating a community based recording studio.
Monday, December 09, 2002
The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at rural America, and problems with handling sprawl in the countryside. While their article focuses upon Missouri, it's a problem we recognize in Delaware. How is the State of Delaware attempting to address this issue? The Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination has a web site that tries to provide some answers called Liveable Delaware.
right to counsel
The Quincy Herald-Whig Online takes a look at Hannibal's native son Clarence Earl Gideon, and the legacy that he left behind in a landmark battle that found its way to the US Supreme Court. Gideon v. Wainwright held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires the right to counsel in all criminal cases.
The National Constitution Center has more about Clarence Gideon's journey to the Supreme Court, including a copy of the "answer to respondent's response to petition for writ of certiorari" that he filed.
As an aside, I'm looking forward to visiting the Constitution Center. From their site:
NCC is building the Constitution Center, the first-ever museum honoring and explaining the Constitution. The Center will be located in Philadelphia on Independence Mall, joining two of our nation's greatest symbols of freedom - Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The Center broke ground on Constitution Day, September 17, 2000 and will open July 4, 2003.This sounds like a summer time excursion worth taking. It's been a while since I had the chance to take a peek at the Liberty Bell, and this addition definitely merits a return visit this summer.
pet peeve of the day
RRBP's. Rapid Random Button Pushers. Those people who, when the computer is giving unexpected feedback or options, rapidly push a random sequence of mouse and keyboard buttons. This gives me great concern. Please, slow down. Read your options. Choose only the appropriate button, and only once.
Sunday, December 08, 2002
political action figures
It appears that the President Bush action figures are selling fast. Almost 8,000 of them have been sold so far. My favorite line from the Talking President's site:
Press the button on George's back to hear him say 17 powerful and patriotic phrases.I understand that the same instructions apply to the doll, too.
a very polish christmas
Anna Szymańska, from the Warsaw Business Journal, shares her correspondence with a certain jolly gentleman about a business trip he is planning to make on December 24th. There are some useful suggestions such as the immunization of reindeer, and the proper ways to get through the customs office. A certain unique Polish flavor filled the correspondence:
We would also like to stress that if any of the recipients of the goods leave you a glass of wódka or a few slices of apple pie, these would be subject to 22% VAT for the giver, if the giver is a VAT registered person. Additionally, this could be subject to Personal Income Tax and potentially social insurance (ZUS), if it were deemed to arise from your employment. Practically 40% of the wódka and apple pie ought to be retained by the giver to satisfy the withholding liability. I, therefore, suggest that you drink no more than 60% of each glass of wódka and eat no more than 60% of each piece of apple pie, leaving the remainder to be sent to the tax office.May you have a very merry Christmas, Anna.
on the web
I came across a couple of articles focusing on the web, from November's issue of FirstMonday, which I enjoyed.
One, entitled Corporate Cyberstalking: An Invitation to Build Theory, takes a look at harassment both by and against corporations online. The intention of its author, Paul Bocij, is to get people to start paying attention to, and documenting these types of problems so that people have a better understanding of how to respond when they happen.
Another article, Examining the Determinants of Who is Hyperlinked to Whom: A Survey of Webmasters in Korea, looks at the reasons why a number of webmasters in Korea linked to other sites. While the factors for linking that they discussed may have played a part in decisions to link to sites from here, we try to add some new sites every once in a while that we find interesting. Here are some that I'm adding to our blog roll today:
fun with trademarks
On Friday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that they had begun to implement a new electronic filing system which would replace paper filings (USTPO press release). We also received news that a recent adoption of the Madrid Protocol by the United States, which will go into effect on November 2nd of next year, will make filing of international trademarks much easier. More from the International Trademark Association here on how this might impact upon Trademark law and practice in the US. Given this news, I thought about taking a quick look at some of the trademark action reported in the media recently.
It appears that there's a nice battle (NY Times, reg. req'd) going on in Austin, Texas, over the right to "keep Austin weird."
You've got to to cough up some bucks if you want to prepare to rumble.
If you send poetry in your emails (NY Times, reg. req'd), you better make certain that haiku isn't trademarked, or you face being labeled a spammer and an infringement case.
Selling hoagies might be expensive in Pennsylvania if you don't call them subs instead. Though, there maybe, might be, a case for prior culinary art, or possibly a generic defense.
And, across Europe, you might get away with calling yourself Santa Claus, but Father Christmas may be another matter.
If you say prayers, and think of it, please say one for Bernd Zechel and Bill Sullivan.